Penn Latin & Ballroom Dance

About Us

Frequently asked questions

What is DanceSport?

DanceSport is the competition aspect of ballroom dancing. Like other sports, DanceSport athletes train and compete in their sport - there is a standard syllabus that allows dancers to master simple steps and technique at first, but as they gain proficiency and experience, they move up in levels, allowing them to learn and master more complex steps and technique. Join the DanceSport listserve.

What is the difference between DanceSport and social dancing?

Our social dancing lessons focus more on learning steps that can be used in a ballroom setting without focusing heavily on technique. Of course, some technique is taught to allow you to execute the steps correctly (basic hip motion and foot placement, for example), but in general, you learn many more steps in social dancing classes - it is common to learn 3 or 4 new steps in a social dancing class. In danceport, students learn fewer steps, but focus on the proper technique for those steps (weight placement, exact hip motion, foot placement, arm styling, body positioning, etc.). Usually, the instructor will choose 1 or 2 steps to focus on during the entire class in order to perfect the technique.

Do I need a partner?

Absolutely not! Some of our best dancers have come in by themselves. By improving your technique and mastery of steps, you will find a partner. For social dancing, we usually go in a group, and everyone is friendly, so expect to be asked to dance, even if you are new to the group! For competitions, the senior members of the DanceSport team will assist in pairing you up with a partner if you decide to compete.

When are tryouts for the DanceSport team and social dancing?

We do not hold tryouts. We believe that anyone can dance, given the right environment and the right tools to do so. Let us help you learn how to become a better dancer. Please contact Team Captain Belinda Li () for more information on the team, or Vice President Helena von Nagy () for more information about social dancing.

How much does it cost?

You can either join the danceport team or social dancing. If you join social dancing, you can take as many or as few of our social dancing classes, taught by one of our professional coaches. These cost $7 per person per class, or $50 for 10 lessons; for team members, it only costs $25 for 10 classes.

If you join the DanceSport team, you can take the team lessons, geared towards competitive dancing, at your proficiency level in Latin and Standard dances. Team dues are $75 per semester for students and $120 per semester for all others. Newcomers get a $20 discount for their first semester on the team.